Do you remember the account of the Israelites in the Old Testament? The generation of Israelites led by Moses was unable to enter the promised land because the people were unwilling to trust God and face the giants in the land. Fast-forward forty years, when Joshua was tasked with rallying a generation of believers to give their whole lives to something their parents were unwilling to do. Unlike their parents, Joshua’s generation did exactly what God commanded.
Have you ever contrasted these two generations? Moses’ generation was unwilling to go because they focused on their fears. Joshua’s generation was willing to go, not only because they had a vision but also because they were willing to trust God to accomplish this vision.
In casting a clear vision, Jesus doesn’t leave us with ambiguity. He’s clear about the commitments required. Believers who rally around a vision and go on mission with Him must be committed to the person of Christ, the people of Christ, the mission, the gathering, and the cost.
1. The Person of Christ
We must be clear about whom we’re rallying around, and we begin where Jesus did: by answering the question “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15, ESV). We have to know with confidence that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16).
2. The People of Christ
We must be clear that the church isn’t like a family; it is a family. Often we’re comfortable making a commitment to Jesus, but we’re totally uncomfortable making a commitment to His people. But Jesus calls us to commit both to Himself and to His family.
3. The Mission
We must pursue the mission God has for us, not passively watch as the war wages around us.
4. The Gathering
Unfortunately, working together in unity can become one of our greatest challenges. A variety of forces always pull at the fabric of our unity. But our ability to stay together in the church as a picture of reconciliation demonstrates the power of God.
5. The Cost
Jesus is calling us to take up our cross and die (see v. 24). He has freely given His life, and we must be willing to do the same.
Want to dig deeper? Check out Dhati Lewis’s new release, Among Wolves. Order your copy or see a free sample today here. You can also pick up a copy at your local Lifeway Store!
Excerpted from Dhati Lewis, Among Wolves Bible Study. © 2017 Lifeway Press. Used by permission.